Stepparent adoption can be a wonderful occurrence for a family. Many times, the process of adoption is simply making legal what has already occurred in the heart and in the family unit.
LEGAL IMPACT OF STEPPARENT ADOPTION
Before proceeding with a stepparent adoption, it is important to understand the legal impact that adoption has on the relationship. Adoption is a voluntary assumption of the rights and responsibilities by the adopting parent to the child. When the adoption is a stepparent adoption, the stepparent is legally assuming the rights and responsibilities of raising the child, as if that child was their own by birth.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH DIVORCE?
Divorce after a stepparent adoption does not affect the adoption. The adoptive stepparent is treated like a natural parent for purposes of custody and visitation determinations, including an obligation to financially support the child to adulthood.
CONSENT OF THE NATURAL PARENT
A stepparent adoption in Alabama severs the legal relationship between the child and one of the child*s natural parents. The child*s natural parent must be served with the Petition for Adoption and consent to the adoption.
There are exceptions to the notice and consent requirement:
Natural parent*s parental rights have been legally terminated
Natural father has denied paternity in writing
Natural father is unknown to the mother
Natural parent is deceased
Natural Parent has been found legally incompetent and unable to give informed consent
Natural parent relinquished parental rights to the Department of Human Resources or a licensed adoption agency
STEPPARENT ADOPTION IN ALABAMA
Stepparent adoptions in Alabama are often more streamline, quicker and less complicated than other types of adoption. Provided the minor child has lived with the stepparent for more than one (1) year the requirements for a pre-placement and post-placement investigation are waived. Typically the court waives the cost-accounting in a stepparent adoption.
Call Attorney Katie O*Mailia at O*Mailia Law and let our office help make your family complete. Our office number is 334-523-0661 or email [email protected].
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